The Marks of a True Leader: Passion

What makes a leader truly great? Everyone has a different answer, but we know that there are some qualities that we can all agree on! Whatever you do—whatever field, whatever company, big, small, startup, solo—if you are in a position of leadership, the only thing you absolutely cannot do without is passion.

A true leader is nothing without passion for their work. After all, if you don’t believe in what you’re saying and doing, how can you expect anyone else to get on board with you? How will you stay motivated to follow through?

Passion isn’t the only essential to good, quality leadership—but it’s certainly a requirement. If you want to lead and lead well in any arena, you have to want to be there. Passion can come in many forms. It can refer to love as well as anger. We can feel both hatred and joy. When it comes to leadership, what do we feel, and how are we channeling passion into progress?

5 Ways Passion Transforms Leadership

1) Passion is contagious & combustible.

In leadership, you have to be able to ignite the people around you. Your words, your actions, your vision...whatever it is you want to accomplish has to be able to catch on and spread to others. Passion is that key ingredient. People see passion and know that it’s something they can believe in and get behind. Even if they can’t, they can admire it.

When you’re excited about something and it shows in the way you lead, that excitement catches on from one person to the next. It’s simple!

2) Passion drives long-term careers.

We’ve all met people who don’t really know what they want to do. Either that, or they’re doing something that they don’t feel any passion for—it’s either for the money, or because they don’t have anything better to do, or because they feel stuck there. There’s no passion or drive. Because of that, they never really excel at what they do. If they aren’t jumping around from one thing to another, they’re doing average work.

Passion in leadership means commitment. It means you aren’t a flash-in-the-pan: you have staying power, and those around you see it and want to share in your career and success. They know you believe in what you’re doing and that you’re in it for the long haul.

3) Passion creates influence.

There are few things more powerful and compelling for a great leader than influence. When you’re a passionate leader, you will naturally grow your sphere of influence. How? Because people are attracted to passion. They will begin to see what you’re doing and will want a part of it. If you keep putting yourself out there with consistency, remain passionate about what you’re doing, and remain committed to leading well, you’re going to create spheres of influence. 

4) Passion makes sure it gets done.

I’ve talked about the importance of follow-through in leadership. Passion is one of the driving forces in ensuring that you actually follow-through! You can’t lead well if you only have words standing behind you. You need actions to back them up and passion ensures that you actually do.

5) Passion spreads to the future generation.

Passion isn’t something that dies with you. It won’t allow your legacy to die. A passionate leader always ensures that there is someone to carry the torch. Good leaders know that it’s never about being in places of power, but about doing good with the responsibilities they’ve been given. And if you’re passionate about your work, your goals, or your company, you’re going to make sure that it continues on after you retire or move on.

Passion is one of the pillars of authentic leadership. If you aren’t passionate, you can’t lead well. But through passionate, authentic leadership, you can inspire people to follow your lead and build up success in whatever industry you are in.